10 More Ways for Niantic to Improve Pokemon Go (Part II)

See also my previous post titled:

10 Ways for Niantic to Improve Pokemon Go (Part I)

#11. Ways to Increase Search Radius.

When searching for Pokemon circles radiate around your avatar, showing your Search Radius. But what if there were ways to temporarily increase your search radius?

This topic came up when I was outside a hospital looking for Pokemon and there was a young patient in a wheelchair outside looking for Pokemon. His usual method was to find a Pokestop and drop a Lure Module, as the game is not "wheel chair friendly" in any way or form.

Seeing the Lure I decided to hang out with him and we got to talking about ways to improve the game.

For him the Search Radius was a major hindrance because of his lack of mobility. He could go places in his wheelchair, but the woods, any place with lots of stairs, and other locations where it is difficult to maneuver in his wheel chair were super tricky.

At times he would see Pokemon in his Sightings box, and move to get closer to them, but often would be just out of range to get near them in his wheelchair. We speculated that it would be an improvement to the game if there was an option to boost the search radius (by 50% or even double it) so that people can search for Pokemon for a boosted radius. Even a temporary boost that lasts 30 minutes might be worth it to players.

#12. The Inequality of the Prices in the Pokemon Shop.

Each Pokecoin is basically worth 1 penny. Buying Pokecoins have varying prices, but 1 penny per coin is roughly accurate. Any extra cost of buying Pokecoins I basically consider to be a transaction fee.

The problem however is what items are actually worth. Let me elaborate:

1 Egg Incubator will hatch 3 eggs and costs 150 Pokecoins. That means it costs 50 cents per Pokemon hatched. It also requires you to walk 6, 15 or 30 km to hatch the eggs, depending on the size of eggs you are hatching. Thus egg incubators are really expensive and not worth buying presently.

But in contrast if you buy Incense it costs 80 cents and will garner you 6 Pokemon, assuming you catch them, which you likely will. That is 13.33 cents per Pokemon caught. It will also cause you to lose 6 or more Pokeballs to catch them all. However, considering the price difference between Egg Incubators and Incense, then Incense is definitely a cost savings.

Lure Modules cost $1 (100 Pokecoins). They will also get you 6 Pokemon the same way Incense does, but the difference is that other people nearby also benefit. Thus Lure modules are even better as a cost savings if you make a habit of playing the game with friends all the time. But if you are a Lone Wolf style player then Lure Modules are not worth it when you consider Incense is cheaper.

Pokeballs cost 5 cents each. 20 balls for 100 Pokecoins. Or 4 cents each if you buy 200 balls for 800 Pokecoins. But at 4 or 5 cents per ball it would make more logical sense to just go for a walk and hit a few Pokestops instead. 10 Pokestops should garner 33+ items, which will be about 60% balls. Paying for Pokeballs is for lazy suckers.

The only things really worth paying for are the following:
  • Bag Upgrades - Because it is the gift that keeps on giving. Cap out your storage too often and later run out of balls, and you realize more storage is the key to having more balls and catching more Pokemon.
  • Pokemon Storage Upgrades - Because extra storage for more Pokemon is also handy.
  • Lucky Eggs - Used for Powerleveling by evolving 65+ Pokemon all at once.
Going back to Egg Incubators they should properly be priced at 50 cents each, making them 16.66 cents per Pokemon hatched. That makes way more sense price wise, and at least makes it comparable to Incense.

#13. The Evolution of Pokemon Sightings and Distance.

In the graphic below it shows how Pokemon Sightings originally worked, showing the approximate distance using footsteps. Then it was changed so people couldn't tell how far away they were. And then changed again so that it made it look like they were hiding in the tall grass.

In the previous 10 Ways for Niantic to Improve Pokemon Go I mentioned how they should add directional arrows for North, South, East and West. In this one I would also recommend bringing back the footprints.

Bringing back the footprints plus adding the directional arrows would suffice to make 3rd party radar apps obsolete. People would have a rough idea of the direction and possible distance to the Pokemon they are looking for, but they would still need to search for them and make the effort of walking / searching. The vagueness of the distance / direction ensures that players still have to wander around to attempt to find Pokemon.

#14. Disappearing Acts? Three Strikes System.

You find a Pokemon, you begin the process of tossing balls at it to catch it and... Poof! It disappears. Really annoying. In my opinion you should always get at least 3 tosses at a Pokemon BEFORE it disappears.

Getting only 1 or 2 balls at it and both failing and then the Pokemon goes Poof makes the game really annoying and frustrating.

Having a 3 throw minimum would allow people to have a better chance of actually catch a Pokemon before it pulls its disappearing act. Unfortunately this means the disappearing act would still happen, but having the 3 throw minimum at least gives players a better chance of success with less annoyances.

#15. Winter is Coming. Winter events?

One of the downfalls of this game is that eventually it is going to start snowing. Here in Toronto, Canada, we can expect the first snowfall sometime in November. So how will Canadians play Pokemon Go during the winter?

Well, for me, I have snowshoes and I happen to like snowshoeing, skiing and various winter activities. But not everyone is into those activities and will likely end up hibernating during the winter... Which means they might stop playing Pokemon Go during the winter. And people who stop playing might never play again when Spring comes.

Unless they can be coaxed outside by some form of Winter Pokemon Go Event...

Releasing new Ice Pokemon, or having a horde of Ice based Pokemon across the landscape might encourage people to go outside and play more. Or both. A virtual ice-storm of Ice Pokemon might be enough to coax players outside and keep playing. Plus a storm of them implies that people might be able to just sit at home and collect Ice Pokemon regardless of where they are, but would need to go outside if they want to get more items (or end up having to buy balls, which is wasteful for them, but really profitable for Niantic).

#16. Spyglass.

Similar to the Camera in the game, this is effectively a telescope that would allow players to search for Pokegyms and Pokestops that are much further away. It does not show the locations of Pokemon at all, all it does is allow players to search nearby regions to see how many Pokestops and Pokegyms are in that direction. This way players can look, see what is there, and then decide whether they want to go for a 1 or 2 hour walk and explore a new region they have never explored before.

This would be both useful and encourage people to go for longer walks and explore.

#17. Rewards and Medals, Upper Limits.

Take Collector for example. Once you capture 2000 Pokemon you have got the 30, 500 and 2000 Rewards. There is nothing beyond that. Nothing for capture 10,000 Pokemon.

Kanto at least makes some sense currently, as there are only 142 Pokemon available in a geographic region. You would have to explore around the world or hatch eggs to get more than that. But eventually when they release more types of Pokemon, 200 Kanto should be a reward.

Scientist stops at 200 Evolves. Backpacker at 2000 Pokestops. Jogger 1000 km. Breeder 500 eggs hatched. Etc.

But what if they changed the Upper Limits on these so people could catch 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 if they so wanted to? And keep getting the rewards and medals for each stage?

#18. Exploration Bonuses?

If you go to a new place and get Pokestops that you've never been to before, perhaps there should be a bonus for that?

Yes, you could just find a park that has 10 or more Pokestops and then walk around in circles, getting all of them. And then go to the same park all the time whenever you need more items. That is convenient.

But maybe there should be bonuses and rewards for how many UNIQUE Pokestops you visit. Wherein each individual one counts. This would encourage people to travel more, visit places they have never been to before (or revisit places they have never played Pokemon Go before).

So for example if you go on a trip to Montreal or Boston or San Diego, maybe there should be bonuses for visiting new places. And maybe an extra bonus for visiting other continents.

#19. Raising the Level Limit of 40 to 50.

Currently there is a level limit of 40. But at some point in the games future they should raise the cap to 50... or... allow people to "Reincarnate" and start over at level 1. At present I have met a few people who have reached the cap and have simply started a 2nd account, working on getting the 2nd account up to 40 as well. So clearly some people are ready for a higher level cap.

#20. Other Things You Can Do In the Game...

This is a blank option really. There are many other things that could be added this game. Here are a few ideas.

  • Pokemon Quests - Specific quests people can do, gaining new types of unusual items.
  • Pokemon Home - Build a home for your Pokemon to live in and customize it, by collecting items during quests.
  • Pokemon Marathons - Rewards for how many km you walk in a single day. Most people would probably accomplish this on a bicycle, but hey, more power to them. Nobody is going to bother trying to do this in a car however, at 10.5 kmph, that would be pretty slow and boring.
  • Pokemon Stadiums - Where players can compete in Battle Royales against other players. (For logistical reasons it would make sense to only have 1 or 2 stadiums in a whole city, and have them located in parks which can accommodate large numbers of players.)

Still to come... Part III of 10 Ways for Niantic to Improve Pokemon Go. Subscribe to Nerdovore to find out what other ways the game could be improved.

Got ideas on how to improve Pokemon Go? Post your comments below.


Did you know that Pokemon Go is actually boosting the economy? It is getting people outside exercising and the increased foot traffic is putting them next to mom n pop style businesses and the increase in random customers boosts the local economy for restaurants, stores, etc. It isn't very good for personal trainers or books about fad diets, as it basically proves that people don't need a personal trainer or a fad diet to lose weight, but it is certainly benefiting everyone else.

Pokestop Item Drop Rates

This is a wee bit of useful data for Pokemon Go players. The following was determined by a Reddit user who visited 3,200 Pokestops and recorded the results. They assembled this data after unlocking all of the available items.

Types of Drops
  • Poke Ball – 57.6%
  • Great Ball – 11.1%
  • Potion – 7.6%
  • Razz Berry – 7.5%
  • Revive – 7.4%
  • Super Potion – 3.1%
  • Ultra Ball – 2.9%
  • Hyper Potion – 1.5%
  • Max Potion – 0.8%
  • Max Revive – 0.08%
  • At lower levels the drop rates are different, depending on what items are available to be dropped.
  • Presumably the numbers above are not completely accurate. They are probably reasonably close however thanks to that 3,200 Pokestop sample size.

According to a different source the drop rates are more precise numbers:
  • Balls 65% (with an internal ratio of 80% regular, 15% great, 5% ultra)
  • Potions 22% (59% regular, 23.5% super, 11.75% ultra, 5.75% max)
  • Berries 7.5%
  • Revives 5.5% (99% regular, 1% max)
It is unclear what the sample size of this secondary source is, but their numbers are pretty close to the ones further above. It also appears they may have rounded numbers up/down, or maybe this info was leaked from Niantic itself? Unclear.

What is the average number of items dropped?

We know 3 is the minimum, and I have seen Pokestops drop as many as 10 items at once. But what is the average? 3.5? 3.75? Inquiring minds would like to know. (According to one Reddit user the maximum is 9, but I have personally seen 10 items dropped on multiple occasions so the upper limit is definitely 10. Unless someone out there has seen 11 or 12...)

Before you ask, no, there was no egg in that drop of 10 items. It was 10 regular items, just balls and potions. (Eggs often drop as a bonus after a player has recently finished hatching an egg.)

I have a hunch the average number of items dropped from Pokestops might actually depend on the player's level. Meaning higher level players are more likely to get 4+ items dropped. I have no proof of this thus far, as it would require creating a new account and recording the results of every Pokestop visited while leveling all the way to 40, and then comparing drop rates according to level... and frankly I cannot be bothered. But if someone out there has no life and wants to attempt this, please feel free to do so and share your results.

Useful Tip: The 10th Pokestop goes Critical

If you hit 10 different unique Pokestops in a row, the 10th Pokestop will drop 6 or more items, and give 100 XP instead of 50 XP. Effectively they get double items, minimum 6 and maximum 10.

Thus if a person is hitting the same 9 Pokestops all the time, they will never get that unique bonus. This in turn would skew their average number of drops to be lower. A different person who is farming 10 different Pokestops would be getting the bonus every 10 Pokestops, and this would give them a higher average number (approx. 10% higher comparatively).

So what is all this useful for?

Well when it comes to farming items from nearby Pokestops it is useful to know what things you can expect to drop and how many Pokestops you will probably have to hit on average to fill up your inventory with Pokeballs and other items.

It also gives you an idea that if you are filling up your inventory and you want more balls, and consequently want to dump potions in favour of having more balls, that you will have a better idea of how many potions will accidentally get when trying to get balls.

The Future!

According to Niantic they are planning to add things to Pokestops in the future so that players can use Pokestops for more than just farming items. Some of the ideas being tossed out include:
  • Players may be able to customize their local Pokestop.
  • Some Pokestops might be more valuable / useful than others.
Niantic is also planning to introduce PokeCenters, where players will be able to heal their Pokemon without having to use a potion. These apparently will be rare. PokeCenters may also be used for:
  • Trading Pokemon.
  • Breeding Pokemon. (Niantic has currently stated they are not currently working on breeding, but this may be something added in the future.)
  • Unknown other options.
The future of Pokemon Go is bright, but with all things concerning this game it will likely involve a lot of walking.

Pokemon Go Walking Distances for Evolving Buddy Pokemon

If you are like me then you really only use the Buddy system on Pokemon Go for evolving your Pokemon at a faster rate, especially if it means filling in a blank on your Pokedex.

I currently have 117 Pokemon in my Pokedex out of the 142 that are available locally. But I have the necessary Pokemon that I can evolve 18 more if I am willing and have the time to put in the kilometers walking and cycling. That would eventually bring my total to 135, thus I would only need 7 more rare Pokemon to complete my collection of 142.

Note - It is also possible to get some more hatching eggs. But that is a topic for another post.

The chart below is mostly for my own usage. But feel free to use it.


Evolving rare Pokemon takes a long time since they take 5 km to get a candy, and often require large numbers of candy. Instead I have been focused on common and uncommon Pokemon that are close to evolving and I only need to do 50 km or less to finish the job.

Not sure which Pokemon to Evolve? Determine their stats first and use a labeling system so you know which ones are the best. Then evolve your best Pokemon which are close to being ready to evolve.

Wait before you evolve! For two reasons:

1. Get a better quality Pokemon that has better stats. That way you are not wasting candy evolving a Pokemon that doesn't deserve it. Patience is better than "Evolving Regret".
2. Wait until you have 60 to 70 Pokemon that are ready to evolve. Then use a Lucky Egg to get double XP for all those Pokemon. You are looking at 60,000 to 70,000 XP instead of 30,000 to 35,000 XP.

Double your chances when walking. Don't just pick a Pokemon you want to evolve, go visit places where that type of Pokemon is likely to appear. For example if you are trying to evolve a Magikarp then you should be taking long walks near a river or a lake, to increase your chances of finding more Magikarp.

When at home try to keep the app on with the "Sightings" box open while doing other activities (such as blogging, chatting on facebook, etc) and if one of the Pokemon you are looking for appears in the Sightings box, run outside and catch it. This way you walk more km, but you also catch those Pokemon more often when they randomly appear near your home.

If you are just looking to use your Buddy to get more XP, then consider the following: Any pokemon you evolve gives you 500 xp, regardless of the type. Thus if you are just trying to get more XP, then focus on the really easy to evolve Pokemons: Pidgeys, Weedles and Caterpies.

If your focus is more on gym combat, then evolve the Pokemon with the best stats that you feel will be best in combat. Once evolved, then keep walking to train your Pokemon until it is capped out. This way you get a really awesome combatant with the best possible stats you can find.

Do not evolve your buddy if you are still collecting candy using it. All current progress will be lost if you evolve it. That means if you were 0.3 km away from getting another candy, you should go walk 300 meters, get your candy and THEN evolve your buddy.


I only list Pokemon that can be evolved here. Pokemon that cannot be evolved or have been fully evolved are not included in this chart.

I have organized the chart by rarity (common, uncommon, rare), types and tiers, and then alphabetically last.

kmpC = kilometers per Candy

#C = Number of Candy required to Evolve

#km~#C = The number of kilometers needed to get the full amount of Candy needed to evolve.


Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

Study Archery in Toronto

So you want to study archery, but you are having difficulty finding an archery instructor who is local. However there is a solution. If you are willing to travel you can take a crash course in archery in Toronto, Canada. 10 lessons over a two week period will take you from archery novice to an experienced and capable archer.

Popular Posts